Before the debut of Brie Larson as Captain Marvel, the internet was a buzz as supposed comic book fans, furious with Larson over her commitment to feminism and inclusion, threatened to boycott the film. Things came to a head when in an interview with Marie Claire, Larson told the magazine she was looking to make her appearances for the film more inclusive, and supportive of women writers.
I was thrilled you requested me to interview you. I thought, ‘This is game-changing’. It’s the biggest opportunity I’ve had. Nobody usually wants to take a chance on a disabled journalist. I’d love to know what your particular reasons were.
‘About a year ago, I started paying attention to what my press days looked like and the critics reviewing movies, and noticed it appeared to be overwhelmingly white male. So, I spoke to Dr Stacy Smith at the USC Annenberg Inclusion Initiative, who put together a study to confirm that. Moving forward, I decided to make sure my press days were more inclusive. After speaking with you, the film critic Valerie Complex and a few other women of colour, it sounded like across the board they weren’t getting the same opportunities as others. When I talked to the facilities that weren’t providing it, they all had different excuses.’
The hate for Larson spilled over into social media, and even Wikipedia, as supposed Marvel fanbois went on the attack against the actress.
With so much outrage, you had to figure that these fans — the one who Marvel and Disney rely on to come to the theater and buy expensive tickets might stay away, right??
The answer was simple: Captain Marvel took her box office superpowers and decimated the naysayers.
SUNDAY AM WRITETHRU after Saturday PM Update: Disney is calling the opening weekend of Captain Marvel at $153M, which is the third-best debut in March (after Disney’s Beauty and the Beast at $174.7M and Warner’s Batman v. Superman at $166m), and the seventh-best stateside launch for an MCU title. Out of the top ten openings for March, Disney now owns half of them. Rivals still believe Captain Marvel is much higher, in the $155M-$157M range, so no surprise if she comes in higher.
The film plays Captain Marvel as a true Marvel origin film. There isn’t a love interest angle, and women in the film aren’t there to simply motivate the male characters. Instead, in Captain Marvell highlights the impact of several women; Danvers herself, played by Larson, Mar Vell, played by Annette Benning, and Maria Rambeau, played by Lashana Lynch.
Captain Marvel in many ways is a feminist film, with women as leaders, scientists, fighters and superheroes.
National Review, seeing the role that women play, called it “exhausting feminism”:
But what does it say about our culture that influential people take a movie like this — and similar so-called “representations” of women, which, as a reminder, are based on fictional comic-book characters with alien superpowers — so seriously? Perhaps it’s because modern feminism has morphed into a crazed culture of unforgiving, humorless, and ultimately atomized workaholism. But hey, that’s just my theory.
I don’t know if I took it that ‘seriously’ but, um, I did appreciate a pretty solid script with great special effects.
The audience, however, apparently wasn’t exhausted. Conservative youtube Channels like The Quartering, which called for Brie Larson to make public apologies, and denounced Disney for “buying” good reviews for the film, saying Disney was in “damage control” with series of videos apparently may need to check the box office.
Ticket sales made that pretty clear this weekend the only ones in damage control mode are those who pronounced Larson would kill the Marvel Cinematic Universe.